Throwback American Kitchen and Bar
Knapp’s is a local restaurant that has been serving the Proctor neighborhood since 1938. The building Knapp’s is in, the Gamble Building, was built by Ray Gamble in 1929. Ned and Corinne Knapp started a delicatessen in a room which is now the coffee shop. In the next years, the restaurant expanded to the north, thus having three rooms. During World War II, the waiting line for dinners extended around the corner of Nelson’s Drug Store!
About Ray Gamble
Ray Gamble was a normal fella who arrived in Tacoma around 1892 in a boxcar with only 82 cents to his name. He climbed the ranks of Tacoma society to be a leading businessman, a fine art collector and a multimillionaire. He was the owner of the world’s largest elephant figurines, having at least 3,000 of them in his home. Besides his elephants, he was also a magician. He hosted parties for the likes of Beatrice Houdini and other popular locals. In his life he was a hobo, a fish seller, wood flour producer, produced materials for the explosive manufacturers, and he owned several pieces of real estate. He passed away in 1972 at the age of 86.
About the Gamble Building
In 1900 Ray Gamble was a young paperboy whose Tacoma Daily Ledgers customers included a man named Anderson who lives on the corner of 27th and Proctor Streets. Gamble bought the land in 1929 and built the Gamble Building in 1930. The $100,000 building had eight apartments above and numerous businesses on the street level. Businesses operating in the building included Sowers Jewelry, Nelson Drugs, Frederick Dean Drug Co. Ernest Brown Fuel Co., Stegin’s Women’s Furnishings and Knapp’s Restaurant.